Gender, culture, and migration: A qualitative study of the socioeconomic challenges facing Afghan women refugees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Muhammad S. Khan, Wu Zongyou, Yao Dewei, D Ibrahim, Aman Khan, Anastasiia Pavlova


The research explores Afghan refugee women's challenges in accessing education, employment, and legal rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It seeks to inform policy changes to improve their socioeconomic circumstances and mitigate these hardships. The study employs qualitative methodologies, utilizing interviews, observation, and document analysis to capture rich, in-depth narratives from three Afghan refugee women. Each narrative provides unique insights into the women's struggles with education, employment, and securing legal rights. The research highlights challenges from forced migration, gender inequality, cultural norms, and socioeconomic marginalization, causing a holistic crisis for Afghan refugee women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. These issues hinder access to education, employment, financial vulnerabilities, and legal uncertainties. The study suggests a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to policy changes, including education reform for refugee girls, gender-responsive recruitment practices, and legal reforms to secure refugees' rights. It emphasizes gender-responsive support services and involves Afghan refugee women in policy development processes, leveraging their experiences for more effective and inclusive policies. (Afr J Reprod Health 2024; 28 [5]: 90-102).

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